Make a Plan
Try our recipes, each a healthy dinner idea full of nutrition without skimping on taste. No, the supplement industry isn't perfect. Diet drinks will save you calories, compared with sugary beverages. You can decide which ones you eat, and how much. Continued Should You Fast?
Mini Meat Loaves, Green Beans, and Potatoes
Or is food your main reward when something good happens? Next, try to notice when those feelings come up, and have a plan ready to do something else instead of eating. Could you take a walk? These are the sugars in cookies, cakes, sugar -sweetened drinks, and other items -- not the sugars that are naturally in fruits, for instance. Sugary foods often have a lot of calories but few nutrients.
Be choosy about carbs. You can decide which ones you eat, and how much. Look for those that are low on the glycemic index for instance, asparagus is lower on the glycemic index than a potato or lower in carbs per serving than others. Whole grains are better choices than processed items, because processing removes key nutrients such as fiber, iron, and B vitamins. There are vegetarian and vegan sources nuts, beans, and soy are a few , as well as lean meat, poultry, fish , and dairy.
Most Americans get enough protein but could choose to get it from leaner sources, so you may already have plenty in your diet. Your exact protein needs depend on your age, gender, and how active you are. Make friends with good fats. The better choices are those in fish , nuts, and seeds, and olive oil or coconut oils. Those have unsaturated fats -- polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fats, specifically. Fill up on fiber. You can get that from vegetables, whole grains, fruits -- any plant food will have fiber.
Some have more than others. Top sources include artichokes, green peas, broccoli, lentils, and lima beans. Among fruits, raspberries lead the list. If you eat times a day, it could keep hunger at bay. You could split your calories equally across all of those mini-meals, or make some bigger than others.
What About Meal Replacements? These products will control your calories. One easy way to lose weight quickly is to cut out liquid calories, such as soda, juice, and alcohol.
Replace them with zero-calorie drinks like lemon water , unsweetened tea , or black coffee. Diet drinks will save you calories, compared with sugary beverages. You might think that fasting is a quick way to drop pounds. Some involve skipping all food.
Even with our homemade chili-lime cream, this dinner recipe rings in at just calories for two tostadas! Noodles made of nutritious zucchini, yellow squash, and carrots combine with silky Alfredo and savory basil pesto sauces for a "pasta" dinner that's actually healthy! Chicken and more veggies keep calories low and protein high with 26 grams per serving. That's up to you.
No matter when you eat this healthy meal in a bowl, it's a cheap and easy recipe under calories. Start planning your next chili night! Add everything to the slow cooker, and come home to a healthy dinner loaded with veggies and 8 grams of fiber. Sticking to healthy meals on a budget often means skipping restaurant fare. With this restaurant remake, you can enjoy dining-out flavor while saving money and calories.
Not only does our healthy pasta recipe ring in at under calories per serving, but it also requires just 20 minutes of prep. Make it a family dinner recipe by adding more or less chili powder to suit your kids' tastes. Spiced and seasoned veggies—grilled to bring out their natural sweetness—star in our fajita dinner recipe. You can find the produce year-round, so enjoy the healthy recipe anytime you seek a cheap dinner.
A meatless sandwich that's also a cheap and easy meal. Oh yeah, it's also loaded with fiber and protein thanks to garbanzo beans. Whole wheat noodles, no-salt-added canned tomatoes, and shrimp make this delicious meal surprisingly low-cal.
Use frozen shrimp instead of fresh to cut the cost of seafood. When it comes to cheap easy dinners, it's hard to beat this protein-packed vegetarian soup recipe. A hint of Cajun seasoning gives the healthy dinner its bold flavor. Enjoy a light supper with this simple meal that's loaded with protein and veggies—you'll feel satisfied even with smaller portions. Plus, you'll definitely save money dining in rather than out at a Mexican hot spot. A high-fiber, high-flavor soup recipe is the perfect fuel on a chilly night.
The addition of salsa verde and a good dose of cumin give this budget meal unique Mexican flavor. Whip up a delicious Mediterranean salad in 20 minutes with a few simple ingredients, including chicken, feta cheese, olives, and tomatoes. It's the epitome of easy, healthy dinner recipes.
Gnocchi, a traditional Italian dumpling, joins sweet corn, arugula, and a plethora of savory seasonings to make one delicious dinner that you'd never guess is budget-friendly. The addition of veggies to the dish adds extra nutrients to this healthy vegetarian recipe.
Make expensive meats go further with some help from additional protein-rich ingredients, such as tender French lentils. Spice up this savory soup with a smoky blend of cumin and cayenne for a flavorful and inexpensive healthy meal. Two pans and 20 minutes later, a serving of this tasty low-sodium dish fulfills 20 percent of your daily iron requirement. You likely have most of the ingredients on hand, saving you gas money from a grocery trip.
Grab prewashed packaged spinach to make meal prep even faster. Even though the package says it's washed, be sure to rinse the spinach in a colander before using. Turn a classic pork chop into a tangy, tropical meal. Orange marmalade creates a mouthwatering and easy! Grilled pineapple slices on the side lend their bold sweetness to this new grill-season favorite.
Try our healthy vegetarian version of your favorite stroganoff for a new low-cal take on the classic. Our light cream sauce goes well with flat, long pastas, so try swapping fettuccine or tagliatelle for the pappardelle.
Just choose whatever's on sale to stick with the cheap-meal theme. Just as rich—and twice as nutritious—as traditional lasagna, this veggie-packed version has only calories per serving. We swapped veggies for red meat but kept all the cheeses you love for a healthy meal idea.
Make healthy veggies delicious with the addition of butter, herbs, and cheese. There's also lean chicken and heart-healthy walnuts for a hearty and healthy budget meal. Soups often make cheap meal ideas! Preparing a delicious and healthy meal is a breeze with our quick shrimp bisque recipe. In just 25 minutes, you can create a savory seafood dinner full of warm, succulent shrimp.
When you need a cheap quick meal, it's time for a stir-fry. The prechopped packaged frozen vegetables save time in the kitchen and keep you on budget without losing any of the nutrition.
Lighten the meal even more by opting for low-cal bottled plum sauce and low-sodium soy sauce. Win over your dinner crowd with this scrumptious chicken noodle casserole.
For a crispy topper, simply combine pieces of fresh bread, chopped onion, and celery instead of the usual high-cal fried onion mix. All the cozy, bubbly comfort makes for one of our favorite healthy recipes for dinner. With just four ingredients and minimal prep, you'll be able to quickly pull together a hearty, beefy Sunday stew.